Under 12 rugby will start to look like the full game, as seen on TV. With more players involved at scrums and any number allowed into rucks, players will gravitate to some positions.
The key focuses should be:
All players must be good at rucking and passing.
Working as pairs and threes in defence.
Lots of decision-making games.
Avoid these two training activities
Don’t spend too much time on tactics. Instead, play games at training based on scenarios.
Avoid specific fitness training. Instead, have intense periods of training where skills are put under pressure. You have such a limited time with the players that you shouldn’t waste it on non-rugby related activities.
Set piece development starts here
There are two main set pieces to work on: scrum and kick offs.
With the scrum, train all your players to be able to play in the scrum, even if they are unlikely to play there in the future.
Spend no more than 10% of your session on playing away from the scrum. This is best done with a “two phase” exercise. That means you play one more “go” after a tackle is made.
Complicated plays will bog down training. You are far better off developing simple plays and focusing on the skills to execute them.
Kick offs need nearly as much time as scrums. Think about how to catch high balls, chase the kick and realigning from the kick. The best way to practise? Small kick off scenarios, with say 5 v 5.
Fast recycling players is a feature of any top team. It means that players are in a position to take the ball from the next breakdown. If they are ready, they can attack with pace. When players reposition themselves after a set-piece or a ruck, they have to read the game and know their roles. A better understanding of this will enhance your team’s attacking cohesion. MORE
Build up the skill to kick accurately and then kick to where the defence are not. Often kicks in open field are aimless. In this session, challenge the players first to kick to where they intend to, and then to kick to where the defence are not. In other words, look before kicking. MORE
See how well individuals react under pressure at the ruck with this decision-making activity and progression. It isolates ball presentation and 1 v 1 ruck skills. It’s intensive, so only needs to last ten minutes. MORE
Don’t be deceived – this handling exercise looks simple but will quickly turn to chaos! It will get players thinking, talking and organising as they need to problem-solve whilst retaining the accuracy of their skills MORE
Q How can you improve players’ alignment to stop them getting too flat, so they attack with pace. Nick Howe, St Paul’s School, U13s A While you can drill alignment, it rarely transfers into matches. That’s because players don’t sense the context and therefore, when they reach the same situations in matches, they don’t... MORE